Unsteadiness

IN HER last work, Interior Castle, St. Teresa remarks that instability of spiritual states is often a cause of bewilderment to spiritual aspirants. They felt sure that what they experienced at times of devotion in favourable circumstances would be with them for ever; when they found later that somehow it had gone, they were liable …

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THE KOAN OF ONE HAND

THE Zen sect of Buddhism developed in China and still flourishes in Japan. It is a path of knowledge (prajna) rather than devotion, and the goal is realization (Satori in Japanese). Before Satori can be attained, the deep-seated convictions of the absolute reality of the world ordinarily experienced, and consequent doubts as to practicability of …

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Categories Zen

PATANJALA YOGA, FROM RELATED EGO TO ABSOLUTE SELF

PATANJALA YOGA, FROM RELATED EGO TO ABSOLUTE SELF by Gaspar Koelman S.J., Poona, 1970 THE Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are cryptic and, unfortunately, the scholarly translation of the standard commentaries by Vyasa and Vachaspati, made in 1927 by Professor Woods of Harvard, is almost incomprehensible to the general reader. One needs the background which the …

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Meditation practice

IN meditation practice, it is essential to remember the purpose, which is: realization of an existing fact. Meditation is not building up a dream. The traditional meditations are, however, allocated to different stages. Many people cannot yet meditate on identity of the true Self and God; it is too remote from daily experience. To them, …

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Kobo Daishi

This is the first of a series of four articles designed to illustrate the lives of four great spiritual heroes of East and West, each of whom attained God-consciousness in this life, but whose personal histories were totally different from each other. The first, the priest Kobo of ninth century Japan, was a universal genius …

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Help, No Help

SOMETIMES a new idea can change the whole landscape of endeavour, so to say: everything appears in quite a different light. This applies to most fields of human activity, but in the case of spiritual endeavours it has some special overtones. Take the case of doing certain jobs for the spiritual group. Naturally everyone would …

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Leaves and Moss

Leaves and Moss by Trevor Leggett In some Japanese Temples, moss is cultivated as a symbol of inner realization. Its progress cannot be forced, and the cultivation in fact amounts to removing the obstacles to the natural growth. If they are patiently and continuously got rid of, however, it makes a surprisingly rapid advance. Moss, …

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I AM TRUTH

Where shall I go? What shall I reject, what accept, what do? I am the all-destroying storm, a sight full of wonder. I am manifest, I am implicit; I am to the right and left; I am before, I am behind. I am in the world, in every place, in all time. I ever was …

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Shri Ganesha

OM                                                                  TAT                                                    SAT ABANGA MANGALA BHUVAH KRAPA PIYUSHA VINDAVA HIRAMBHA VYJANTAE SMIN BIBRALA SARVA SAMPADA.   MAY THAT GANESHA WHO, WHEN DANCING IN THE TWILIGHT BETWEEN THE YUGAS, ALL THE WORLDS SEEM TO IMITATE BY RISING AND FALLING, PROTECT YOU. MAY THE VERMILION STAINED TRUNK WHICH SHRI GANESHA AT NIGHT …

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True Man of No Rank

Recently I wrote about a general impression that foreigners have, that Japanese people tend to put everyone into some rank or relative position.  The rank or position determines what the person is.  I have heard a Japanese say (and have read similar remarks) that without all the personal connections and relations, “I should be no …

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Spiritual Schools

” Whoever always meditates on Him, whether from desire, anger, fear, affection, friendship, or reverence, surely becomes one with Him.”-Shrimad Bhagavat. ” He worships Me with his whole being.”-Gita. The tradition in all great mystical schools is that to have Enlightenment it is necessary to study under a teacher. The teacher is one who knows …

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Stories

One of the great means of instruction is telling tales. The Sufi classic Mathnavi, and the Zen writings, are full of them. The stories are not fully explained; we are expected to find the inner meaning by our own efforts. Pondering on a story is compared to churning milk; it has to be turned and …

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Notes

“Our teacher,” said a disciple to a friend of his, “won’t let us take notes when he gives his sermons. Still, he always speaks on one of the classical texts, so as soon as possible afterwards, a group of us meet together and recover as much as we can from memory. With the basic text …

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Lions and Tigers

LIONS AND TIGERS “All living beings have been Buddhas from the very beginning. It is like ice and water : apart from water no ice can exist.” Hakuin’s Meditation Song. The most troublesome problem for human nature in any age is the question of reputation and profit. Its solution means the difference between ignorance and …

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The connection between Swami Krsnananda, Shri Dada, Swami Rama Tirtha, Swami Mangalnath and Hari Prasad Shastri

From an article by Trevor leggett The ancient yoga begins with the realization of inevitable suffering in the world as experienced now. Dr Hari Prasad Shastri used to quote a verse from the sage Gaudapada: ‘When a man will be able to use infinite space as a blanket round his body, then alone will it …

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Rama Tirtha

SWAMI Rama Tirtha was a mathematician and scientist of modern India, who was also a fully illumined Mahatma. His teaching has a special attraction for our times, for here it is the modern man who speaks, it is the modern mind, unsentimental, critical, analytical, intellectually uncompromising, which examines the philosophy and technique of yoga. And …

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A view of the life of Rama Tirtha before his ultimate illumination

Every man can make himself a suitable candidate for spiritual illumination. There is no part of the natural inheritance which cannot be modified and improved. One of the greatest joys in life is to refine this inheritance under the influence of culture and religion, to evoke the hidden faculties of self-government, right living and inspiration. …

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Gita verses cited in Yoga Sutras introduction for the general reader

Chapter II 10. If this practice is also too difficult for thee, then obtain purity of the mind by the practice of selfless benevolence to please Me. Those who act thus they too acquire perfection. 11. If this is also too difficult for thee to practise, then, making My holy Yoga thy sole support and …

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Meditation instructions on the Yoga Sutras

Trevor Leggett’s meditation instructions on the Yoga Sutras: He says “you have to know enough theory for a working basis” and referring to his book  ‘Sankara on the Yoga Sutras’, he says ” there is no need immediately to read the subtleties of the intellectual background”. His instructions are: THEORY (1)    Read the Introduction for …

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Yoga Sutras introduction for the general reader

The text translated here is an historical find: an unknown commentary on the Yoga sutra-s of Patanjali by Sankara, the most eminent philosopher of ancient India. Present indications are that it is likely to be authentic, which would date it about ad 700. The many references to Yoga meditation in his accepted works have sometimes been regarded …

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I get dissatisfied when I’m told that at the beginning of the training one has to have faith

Question: I get dissatisfied when I’m told that at the beginning of the training one has to have faith. It seems to me that one is being asked to believe something at the beginning that they admit is only proved at the end. If indeed, it is going to be proved at all, I can’t …

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Categories Q&A

Yoga Sutras 1.33 to 1.40

Sutra 1.33 The mind is made clear by meditation on friendliness towards the happy, compassion for the suffering, goodwill towards the virtuous, and disinterest in the sinful Let him practise friendliness towards all beings experiencing happiness, compassion to those in pain, goodwill to the habitually virtuous, and disinterest in habitual sinners. Such devoted meditations produce pure dharma, …

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The dangers of presenting doctrines of meditation and realisation in words

One of the dangers of presenting doctrines of meditation and realisation in words is that they become identified with the words. When they are translated the new words do not correspond exactly to the translated words. There is a gradual dilution and a spreading vagueness. There is however a language not in words which can …

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Yoga Sutras 1.50 and 1.51

Sutras 1.50 and 1.51, and refer back to 1.18. Sutra 1.50 The sarpskara produced by it inhibits other samskara-s The samskara produced by truth-bearing knowledge removes the accumulated deposit of samskara-s of extraversion. When the extravertive samskara-s are overcome, no ideas arising from them appear. With inhibition of extravertive ideas, samadhi becomes habitual. Then there is knowledge …

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He spent hours in devotion and prayer but there was never any response

A disciple came to a teacher and complained that though he spent hours in devotion and prayer, there was never any response. ‘When my daughter was ill I prayed the whole night that she would recover well, and, as a matter of fact, she did recover. How do I know that she would not have …

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